Cricket saga takes new twist

Enock Muchinjo

THE Zimbabwe cricket saga has taken a dramatic twist with a group previously aligned to the Peter Chingoka executive turning against the Zimbabwe Cri

cket (ZC) boss.

Eight provinces, including five new provincial associations seeking affiliation to the ZC, have written a letter demanding the resignation of Chingoka and the interim board he leads. They have also demanded the immediate holding of elections to choose a replacement board.

The new provinces and a faction comprising disgruntled stakeholders from the established regions are comtemplating forming a splinter union, IndependentSport understands.

Themba Mliswa, the controversial political activist and sports consultant who is the leader of the new provinces, this week took off his gloves on Chingoka, whom he fervently helped to stay in control of ZC when his ouster looked inescapable following a allegations of mismanagement levelled against him.

Most stakeholders were now in concurrence, Mliswa claimed, that Chingoka’s reign has to end.

“Already we’ve been talking,” Mliswa said. “One must understand that Peter is not good for the game. I never said Peter was good. I just didn’t want players to be involved in the politics of the game.”

Mliswa accuses the interim board of mismanagement and failing to carry out its terms of reference given by the Sports and Recreation Commission.

“The interim board has been plundering resources, and they have to watch out because when we get there, we will find out. They must remember that their time is coming to an end,” he said.

“What the interim board was supposed to do was to reunite people. Even people who they did not get along with in the past were supposed to be spoken to. (Tatenda) Taibu is important regardless of the fights we had. It’s time for peace. You don’t talk of development when you keep rebuilding. You build a team because it’s old. We’ve become a breeding ground for teams overseas.”

Mliswa said the resignation of administrators from the union was worrying the provinces.

“We are worried about the people being lost. We are losing good black people. There seem to be an elimination process and it’s detrimental to the game,” he said

The rift between Mliswa and Chingoka sparked during a special general meeting in December when the ousted ZC substantive board declined to affiliate the new provincial associations against the ZC constitution.

“We saved Chingoka but what we fought for is not what is happening. The issue of affiliation was never a way to protect

Mliswa said the continuous loss of players was one of Chingoka’s biggest failures. “Under his reign we have lost more players than those who’ve come through,” he said. “He’s used the game to propel himself and to have a good CV. He could get away 10 years ago because we had no black administrators. Now we have better, more educated, better understanding and politically correct black administrators.”

Mliswa said the new provinces have also opposed the application for an extension of tenure by the interim board when its six-month period expires next month.